Are Wii U Gamepads Interchangeable?

The Nintendo Wii was a revolutionary console. With that being said, this article is about its big brother, the Nintendo Wii U. We get asked quite often whether or not the Wii U gamepad is interchangeable. So, instead of constantly answering this question, we thought it would be a good idea to answer it once in this article.

The Nintendo Wii U Gamepad is indeed interchangeable. The caveat is that you can only have two devices paired at the same time, and you can only use one of those at any given time. It is important to note that they are not the same as the controllers, and you can have up to 4 controllers connected at the same time.

I absolutely love the Nintendo Wii, and the reason for this is, I have witnessed an entire family having the time of their lives playing some of the great titles that the console has to offer. In this article, we will go in-depth, but please excuse me if I do seem a bit passionate about it. I just think that it is a great console. Anyway, for everything you need to know, keep reading.

Are Wii U Gamepads Interchangeable?

The Nintendo Wii U was, at the time of its release, and innovation of phenomenal proportions. It introduced a lot of different types of gamers into gaming. By just doing a quick search, you will find that there are people in their 70s who use the Nintendo Wii U to exercise. The question is, are the gamepads themselves interchangeable?

Yes, you can interchange your Wii U gamepad with the console itself. In fact, you can have two gamepads connected to the same console. The problem is you can only use one of them as gamepads at a time.

This is great for people who want to have their own gamepad instead of sharing it with their brothers, sisters, or even other family members. There is, however, one important thing to note…

It is important to remember that you might have to redo your setting every time you connect three or more gamepads to the console. It is best to stick with just two at a time. However, if you really want to have every member of the family having their own gamepad, then having to redo your settings every time is a small inconvenience compared to the benefits.

How To Connect A New Wii U Gamepad In 6 Easy Steps

If I had to finish writing this article and did not include a step-by-step guide on connecting your Wii U Gamepad to the console, I would feel as if I have let you, the reader, down. I am not about to let that happen.

So, here are our 6 easy steps to connect a Wii U gamepad to the Nintendo Wii u console:

  1. Make sure that the gamepad is charged and switch it on.
  2. Switch on the Wii U console.
  3. On the bottom left of the console, you will see a “Pair button” press it twice.
  4. You are going to use the stylus to then press the “pair button on the gamepad. The “Pair” button is located on the back of the gamepad towards the left just underneath the battery cover.
  5. The console will now display a few symbols on the TV. You need to press the corresponding symbols on the gamepad.
  6. You are now done. The only thing left to do is to play games and enjoy.

Can A Wii U Gamepad Be Used Without The Console?

I think this question became more popular with the release of the Nintendo switch. I mean, if you can take your Switch anywhere with you without the console, surely you should be able to do the same thing with your Nintendo Wii U? Well,l things are not that simple. Let’s jump straight into it.

No, the Wii U is not very similar to the Nintendo Switch, and this means that it does not run the games because it has little processing power, and you will always need the console to run the games. The gamepad is basically just a fancy controller.

How Many Wii U Controllers Can Be Used At Once?

The Wii U didn’t only introduce gaming to a new demographic of gamers. It did something a lot more than that. With its strong lineup of sports titles, the Nintendo Wii U made multiplayer gaming on the same TV, known as couch co-op, even more fun than what it used to be. Let us look at how many controllers can be used on a Wii U at once.

The Nintendo Wii U allows you to connect up to 4 controllers at the same time, which allows for 4-player multiplayer at any given moment. This is great for big families, but we will touch on that in a second.

One of the first times I was introduced to the Wii U, I was still just a sweaty FPS multiplayer gamer. I went to a friend’s house and saw them playing the Wii U as a family and having a blast with it.

This kind of reminded me of the days when my brother and I used to play couch co-op or couch multiplayer back in the day, except this time, the graphics are better, and they were having heaps of fun.

They were having more fun than we used to have. It could be because my brother and l are both sweaty players who want to always WIN. Maybe, the titles and the way the Wii U forces us to play together just makes it that much more enjoyable.

BONUS: Can You Plug Any Switch Into Any Dock?

Again, this is an article that has a bonus section. In this section, we will be talking about whether or not Nintendo Switch handhelds are interchangeable; after all, if you play the Wii U, you have probably played on the Switch, or at least, you are considering it.

The Nintendo Switch handheld can be docked into any docking station. This means that you can take your Nintendo Switch to your friend’s house and instantly have access to your games on their TV without having to carry around your entire console.

Are Switch Controllers Interchangeable?

The Nintendo Switch controllers are indeed interchangeable, and they can be used in a larger variety of ways.

The Nintendo Switch controllers can be used individually. After all, it is one controller split into two, but the way they are designed is in a way that allows for that one controller to be used by two players. So, if you have two controllers, you could potentially play a 4-player multiplayer game.

They are also interchangeable. All you need to do is link 1/2 with the other, and they become basically one controller. This is great for people who love to mismatch their controllers, and it also allows for third-party manufacturers to customize the controllers in a variety of different ways.


Wow, this was a really fun article to write. Not only did we discuss whether or not a Wii U’s gamepad is interchangeable, which was actually the main topic of the story, but we also spoke about other topics.

In this article, we went through a step-by-step guide on connecting a gamepad to the console, and we also spoke a little bit about the big boss of Nintendo Consoles, the Nintendo Switch. Hopefully, with all this information, you don’t have any further questions regarding Nintendo Wii U’s gamepad.

David Sacks

I have worked in the IT industry since 2011 and have been an avid gamer my whole life. My first consoles were the sega genesis and the Nintendo SNES. I play both console and PC games, I love both. I decided to become combine my passion for gaming with my passion for writing.

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